Batman: War Drums

Detective 790

Cover Date: March 2004
Subtitle: Scarification
Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Pete Woods, Cam Smith
Storyline: A new designer drug called G.H.D. claimed its sixteenth victim. Batman questioned a friend of the victim and got the name of the dealer. He didn't know who supplied him, so Batman and Batgirl gave him a few thrills. Batgirl questioned his motives, mentioning that he seemed to be taking this more personally than normal. The next night, he ignored a transmission for Oracle. He took down the manufacturer of the drug by offering him a choice: handcuffs or his own drug. He chose the cuffs. Later that night, Bruce took Cassandra to Jason's grave. It would have been his 18th birthday.


Detective 791

Cover Date: April 2004
Subtitle: The Surrogate part one: Lost and Found
Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Pete Woods, Cam Smith
Storyline: Batman began trailing Jamil Heyman, a former pro football player who was now into gangbanging. After taking him and his gang down after a gun deal, Oracle notified him that Leslie called for him. A young woman had come into her clinic, apparently shot - with no bullet. She and her unborn child were in bad shape. Batman arrived; she asked him to find the girl's family. He took her prints and found out she was an orphan. At her last known address, one of her foster sisters gave Batman a picture of the girl and her real sister. Batman realized Mr. Freeze was somehow involved - he found only water where he'd been shot earlier. After paying another visit to Heyman, Batman returned to Leslie's clinic to find it abandoned.


Detective 792

Cover Date: May 2004
Subtitle: The Surrogate part two: The Blinding
Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Pete Woods, Cam Smith
Storyline: Batman found two of the clinic workers drugged and tied up in a closet. After questioning them, he realized the pregnant girl's sister was a famous pop star. While tracking them down, Batman listened in on the bug he planted on Heyman. Mr. Freeze called him. As Batman arrived at the location where the girl and Leslie were being held, Heyman attacked with some of Freeze's weaponry.


Detective 793

Cover Date: June 2004
Subtitle: The Surrogate par three: Deliverance
Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Pete Woods, Cam Smith
Storyline: Batman, Leslie, the mother, and the singer were trapped in the collapsed building. Dr. Thompkins was able to save the baby, but the mother died in the operation. Batman cleared enough of the rubble for the grandmother (the singer was actually the mother's mother) to get out. They told her to get the child to a hospital immediately. Media reported her manager and husband (Heyman) dead. Batman tracked down Freeze and stopped him. Later, Leslie visited Bruce at the Manor.


Detective 794

Cover Date: July 2004
Subtitle: Monsters of Rot part one: Cleansing Fires
Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Pete Woods, Cam Smith
Storyline: Capo Siegel was buried in Gotham City. Matches Malone purchased information from his widow. Batman and Orpheus made a move against the mobsters who were now without a boss. When a load of illegal immigrants arrived in Bludhaven all dead, the ship's captain set fire the his boat. After hearing the truth, Catalina Flores (Tarantula) vowed to find out more. Tarantula got a name and went after the man believed to be behind the shipment of Santa Priscans. He told her they were dead and rotting after only five days at sea. She found a man made of roaches later that night and set him on fire. Rotted corpses began popping up in Gotham City. Batman told Commissioner Akins to stay out of the Hill (where the bodies were found). He and Tarantula bumped into each other that night investigating.


Detective 795

Cover Date: August 2004
Subtitle: Monsters of Rot part two: Knee Deep
Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Pete Woods, Nathan Massengill
Storyline: Batman encountered Tarantula, who was hell-bent on burning things that could be contaminated with the Mugre. He didn't believe her at first, but saw some intangible liquid take form. He welded himself and Tarantula in with it so that no one else could be exposed. They got out via the sewer; Batman sent Flores home and told her not to come in contact with anyone else until he got in touch with her. He researched those known dead and the bacterium that caused their deaths. He realized that cockroaches were the stop for it and created an antidote. After finding Tarantula in the sewer where he last saw her, he dosed her and ordered her to leave his town. He delivered the info and antidote to Akins. Orpheus found the city sanitation chief dead of a self-inflicted gunshot. He told Batman.


Polished Stone (2 part backup from Detective 795-796)

Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Brad Walker, Troy Nixey
Storyline: Green Arrow arrived at a monastery in the mountains and met with a woman he knew named Onyx. He needed a favor for a "friend." Orpheus's gang got shot at in an arms deal. Back in Gotham City during the shootout, Batman introduced Orpheus to his new bodyguard - Onyx. After she helped them take down the dealers, they dumped the guns in the bay.
As Penguin welcomed Orpheus and Onyx into the Iceberg Lounge, Batman and Batgirl arrived. A fight broke out, convincingly enough to make everyone believe the Bats were against Orpheus and Onyx.


Robin 126

Cover Date: July 2004
Subtitle: A Life More Ordinary
Writer(s): Bill Willingham
Artists(s): Damion Scott
Storyline: Tim and Stephanie talked. He was adjusting; she intended to continue on as Spoiler. Warlock's assassin reported back to him - Robin had not been sighted in six weeks, though Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl had; Robin's true identity had been narrowed down to 12 candidates. While Spoiler checked in on her boyfriend, she found him lip-locked with another girl. Pissed, she created her own Robin outfit and broke into the cave. Batman gave her the job - he told Alfred that Tim quit and no longer played a part in his plans. Stephanie could be suitable under his protection, but not alone (as with her Spoiler identity). He gave her a real outfit and made her get a haircut. Her training began. They went out on patrol as Tim made a date with the girl who'd kissed him (Stephanie had not been returning his calls). The first Robin candidate and his family were killed.


Detective 796

Cover Date: September 2004
Subtitle: ...and Red all Over
Writer(s): Anderson Gabrych
Artists(s): Pete Woods, Nathan Massengill
Storyline: After taking down some muggers, Batman took Stephanie / Robin to investigate a murder scene. Batman quickly realized it was the work of Zsasz. Batman sent Robin home, but Zsasz got to her before she could get clear. Robin was resourceful enough to get away long enough for Batman to get to Zsasz. Together they were able to stop him and get him to the police. Afterwards, Batman got on to her for resorting to deadly force in the battle.


Robin 127

Cover Date: August 2004
Subtitle: Girl Wonder
Writer(s): Bill Willingham
Artists(s): Damion Scott, Robert Campanella
Storyline: Stephanie, as Robin, went out with Batman on her 46th night in her new costume. They took down "Bloodbath, Inc." and got the name of their boss. Tim continued to get the cold shoulder from his girlfriend. The seventh possible Robin and his family were killed by Warlock's assassin. The next night, Batman and Robin took down a woman calling herself Tiger Moth. Tim began to hear rumors of a new sidekick. He called the cave - Stephanie answered. Batman put some things together and uncovered the plot to kill the last Robin. Though Stephanie stood him up, Batgirl gave Tim a visit. Scarab went after her eighth victim, but was interrupted by Batman and Robin.


Robin 128

Cover Date: September 2004
Subtitle: Fired
Writer(s): Bill Willingham
Artists(s): Damion Scott
Storyline: Day 48 as Robin saw Scarab attack her and Batman. She got them separated and was miffed that Robin was a girl. Scarab removed her mask anyway, took pictures, and left. They regrouped back in the cave - Robin had placed a tracker on Scarab. Scarab contacted her employer believing she'd already killed her target, which had led to the new Robin. Batman got to her; Robin disobeyed orders and went in to help. Scarab captured Robin and left in the batplane. Alfred recovered it and Stephanie the next day while Bruce recovered from his temporary blinding due to the battle. Three weeks later, Batman called Stephanie in and fired her for disobeying a direct order. He also told her he didn't expect to ever see Spoiler again, either. Tim and Batgirl talked. She admitted she was assigned to guard him because of the Scarab situation.


trade paperback edition